Martti Siirala

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Martti Olavi Siirala (24 November 192218 August 2008) was a Finnish psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and philosopher. His most original ideas concerns with the communal nature of human illness, as individual gets ill for his society.


  • The day has not only passed, it has long since passed, when we could visualize a healthy psychiatrist confronting a sick patient.
    • Medicine in Metamorphosis (2003).
  • A defect, as such, does not imply determinations in any direction. The individual's happiness is in the continuous unfolding of his experience, and also in the fruitfulness of his suffering. The criterion of his happiness is his power and permission to grow into his own self, with all that this involves. This, in turn, depends on other circumstances; the reality or mere ostensibility of his reception; the degree to which he is allowed, together with his defects and inherited birth constellations, to be integrated into his community; and the degree to which the community is permitted to become integrated into what he, the individual, represents.
    • Medicine in Metamorphosis (2003).

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